Brussels told to devise new legal protection of artists and creatives

MEPs call for minimum social standards for artists and cultural workers

In 2020, the cultural and creative sector in the EU lost over 30% of its turnover, a cumulative loss of €199 billion. Photo: Viktor Vella
In 2020, the cultural and creative sector in the EU lost over 30% of its turnover, a cumulative loss of €199 billion. Photo: Viktor Vella

MEPs have called for better legal protection for artists and those who work in the cultural sector with a resolution passed with 543 votes in favour, 50 against and 107 abstentions.

MEPs said there was an urgent need to improve the unstable conditions for artists, set up pan-European programmes for young creators and innovators, as well as protect authors and performers more from the monopoly of dominant streaming platforms.

In 2020, the cultural and creative sector in the EU lost over 30% of its turnover, a cumulative loss of €199 billion. With the music and performing arts sectors experiencing losses of 75% and 90% respectively.

MEPs urged that member states ensure that the self-employed, freelancers, cultural workers and artists have access to collective bargaining.

Member states were also called on to develop mutual recognition standards for cultural and creative qualifications, diplomas and work to eliminate all barriers to cross border travel and work.

“Even before the pandemic, many artists were struggling and needed a second income to make a decent living,” said MEP Monica Semedo (Renew, LU).

“We urge member states and the Commission to take specific measures to tackle unstable income, unpaid work and job insecurity, and to safeguard a minimum standard of income for artists and cultural professionals. We also need to avoid bureaucratic burdens, such as work permits or permits for holding festivals and double taxation for artists working across borders”.

Another element of the resolution was copyright income and streaming services. COVID-19 further increased artists and audiences’ dependence on streaming platforms.

Platforms that impose “buy out clauses” on authors and other creatives, purchasing full copyright from them for a one-off payment, deprives creators of routine income they would be paid if they were remunerated every time their work was streamed.

MEPs called on the Commission to remediate the situation to ensure all creators, artists and rights holders are duly and fairly remunerated for their work.

 

 

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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